An SUV made for the city

It has a good green rat­ing and lots of bells and whis­tles, but it might strug­gle off-road, CHRIS RILEYsays

Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - CARSGUIDE -

WE turn the spot­light on the car world’s new­est and bright­est stars as we ask the ques­tions to which you want the an­swers. But there’s only one ques­tion that re­ally needs an­swer­ing: Would you buy one?

WHAT IS IT?

Peu­geot’s tiny SUV, an offroad ver­sion of the 208 hatch if you like — al­though we can’t see this one go­ing very far off road. This is the mid-grade, two-wheel drive Al­lure model with a 1.6-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine.

HOW MUCH?

Prices start from $21,990 for the three-cylin­der ver­sion. This one will set you back $27,990 but that does not in­clude an auto (an­other $2000). The top of the range diesel is $31,990.

COM­PETI­TORS?

The most di­rect com­peti­tor is Re­nault’s Cap­tur, a Cliobased SUV but it still yet to get to th­ese shores de­spite the fact we drove the car more than a year ago. You could also take a look at the Ford EcoS­port, Holden Trax or Nis­san Qashqai.

UN­DER THE BONNET?

The 1.6-litre four-cylin­der petrol en­gine is of the older multi-point in­jec­tion mould and de­liv­ers 88kW of power and 160Nm of torque, with­out the help of forced in­duc­tion. Our test ve­hi­cle was the fivespeed man­ual.

HOW DOES IT GO?

The 1.6 is not overly pow­er­ful. It of­fers sat­is­fy­ing per­for­mance in the mid-range, but still lacks torque down low, and this trans­lates to leisurely ac­cel­er­a­tion off the line.

IS IT ECO­NOM­I­CAL?

Rated at 5.9 litres/100km, we were get­ting 8.1 litres/100km (long-term av­er­age was 7.2).

IS IT GREEN?

Pro­duces 135g/km car­bon diox­ide. Gets 4.5 out of five stars from the Gov­ern­ment’s Green Ve­hi­cle Guide (the bench­mark is the Prius with 5).

IS IT SAFE?

Gets a full five stars for safety from ANCAP, with six airbags, a rear view cam­era, elec­tronic trac­tion and sta­bil­ity con­trol and anti-lock brakes with brake as­sist and elec­tronic brake force dis­tri­bu­tion.

IS IT COM­FORT­ABLE?

Sharing 67 per cent of com­po­nents with the 208 hatch, it’s 20cm longer, sits 10cm higher and is just over 70kg heav­ier than the hatch, but has the same wheel­base. Rear legroom is good but would be cramped with three adults. Not fans of the large fixed sun­roof with its mesh shade that looks like it will be hot in sum­mer.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE?

Not bad. Bright and user - friendly with plenty of vi­sion and a large seven-inch com­puter screen that dom­i­nates the cabin.

The drive ex­pe­ri­ence in our test car was marred by a ter­ri­ble clutch with late take-up. The five-speed man­ual is, how­ever, easy to use and the whole ex­pe­ri­ence was gen­er­ally pleas­ant. Sat­nav pro­vides cur­rent speed limit and you can dis­play the car’s speed dig­i­tally, but no warn­ings for cam­eras or school zones.

IS IT VALUE FOR MONEY?

Stan­dard kit on the mid-spec Al­lure in­cludes cli­mate air, power win­dows and mir­rors, 16-inch al­loys, key­less en­try, trip com­puter, fog lights, auto dim mir­ror, auto wipers and lights, LED day­time run­ners, rear park­ing sen­sors, rear view cam­era, cruise con­trol with speed lim­iter, six-speaker au­dio with steer­ing wheel con­trols, AUX/USB in­put and Blue­tooth with au­dio stream­ing (there’s no CD player).

WOULD WE BUY ONE?

Yes. The small en­gine and com­pact di­men­sions make sense in a city con­text, but could fall short on the open road.

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